Aviation parts supplier TWIN MRO confronts challenge of mobile printing

Novell beat out HP, Xerox to provide mobile printing capabilities to TWIN MRO

A challenge for mobile employees is being able to access a corporate printer to print out documents from their devices.

That was a problem confronted by TWIN MRO, a South Windsor, Conn.-based turbine component overhaul and repair supplier for 175 aviation customers in more than 25 countries.

TWIN MRO needed to find a secure way for its mobile employees to access and print from printers on the corporate network.

"We deal a lot with diagrams, photographs and technical data. We have a tremendous amount of in-house and customer data that we need to protect. And we print tens of thousands of pages every week," Kevin Salisbury, manager of global marketing and information services and technology at TWIN MRO, told FierceMobileIT.

"In the past, if our mobile employees didn't have a Windows laptop and a VPN, they weren't productive. So even if they had a smartphone with tremendous capability, for various reasons, we could not allow them to access the data inside our network, either because it was impractical or we couldn't due to regulations," Salisbury related.

Early last year, TWIN MRO decided to start a pilot program for mobile devices. "We wanted to see what it would take to provide our existing ERP [enterprise resource planning] infrastructure and the surrounding information services to our mobile employees," Salisbury said.

TWIN MRO contacted HP (NYSE: HPQ) and Xerox (NYSE: XRX) about mobile solutions for their printers.

"The free mobile solutions they offered required upgrades to their latest printers," Salisbury explained. "They were really pushing up toward buying newer hardware and we just didn't want to do that. What Novell's iPrint solution allowed us to do was maintain our existing desktops and printers," he added.

TWIN MRO already had a virtual desktop infrastructure environment.

"We said, 'Hey, for the price of a quality thin-client, we can roll out tablets and gain all of the advantages of having the tablet. We used Novell products to manage those devices. So whether they have a smartphone and they are on the road or whether they are inside TWIN, they have full access to everything they need," Salisbury said.

"Printing was a big, big part of that. We needed to be able to have easy printing where the user could find their printer very quickly. In this case, we were already using [Novell's] iPrint on Windows and LINUX. It was very easy for use to transfer to the mobile iPrint solution," Salisbury concluded.

For more:
- check out Novell's iPrint mobile release

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